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Google site: VS SITE:
uppercase operator showing different results
Bewenched




msg:3361604
 11:11 pm on Jun 7, 2007 (gmt 0)

I was checking our listings that show up under the normal site: command however i had my cap locks on. It showed very VERY different results.

SITE:www.example.com
(showed only 4 pages which only had our domain name in the text but not a link to us)

site:www.example.com
(showed my normal results of pages within our site)

interesting

So I tried with with a few others
LINK:
vs
link:
again .. very different results.

 

Robert Charlton




msg:3361637
 11:52 pm on Jun 7, 2007 (gmt 0)

Bewenched - Intriguing. When I use SITE: in upper case, I get no results on a test site when I tried SITE:example.com...

I did get a few results with SITE:www.example.com.

On the other hand, with lower case site:example.com I got a full set of results.

It appears that SITE: or LINK: do not work as operators when in upper case, but they do seem to work as search terms.

On the test you tried, do these give the same results on the test domain you tried?...

site: www.example.com
space after the colon

SITE: www.example.com
space after the colon and caps

SITE:www.example.com
no space after the colon and caps

The first and second should be the same... I'm really wondering about the third.

[edited by: Robert_Charlton at 11:56 pm (utc) on June 7, 2007]

rainborick




msg:3361728
 2:50 am on Jun 8, 2007 (gmt 0)

When you use SITE: Google doesn't recognize it as the site: operator, so you get a conventional search on a combination of the word 'site' and your domain name.

BeeDeeDubbleU




msg:3361834
 7:03 am on Jun 8, 2007 (gmt 0)

As far as I can see the same thing applies to

site:example.com

and

site: example.com.

In the first example it uses the operator properly and in the second it offers results of a search for "site" and "example.com".

Robert Charlton




msg:3361863
 8:08 am on Jun 8, 2007 (gmt 0)

When you use SITE: Google doesn't recognize it as the site: operator, so you get a conventional search on a combination of the word 'site' and your domain name.

Yes, but the search results with and without the space are different. Depending on the site, they can be way different. The searches aren't case sensitive, but they are space and proximity sensitive.

To see the difference a particular site makes, try these searches...

site: www.yahoo.com [google.com]

SITE:www.yahoo.com [google.com]

If we search WebmasterWorld instead of Yahoo, the searches are more different yet, because of the particular content of this site...

site: www.webmasterworld.com [google.com]

SITE:www.webmasterworld.com [google.com]

The snippet highlighting on the WebmasterWorld examples is especially helpful in seeing the difference the space makes on these searches.

Propools




msg:3362218
 3:19 pm on Jun 8, 2007 (gmt 0)

WOW! Ok, so which method is more useful or more preferred method to get relevant/accurate results?

SITE: www.somesite.com
SITE:www.somesite.com
SITE: somesite.com
SITE:somesite.com

site: www.somesite.com
site:www.somesite.com
site: somesite.com
site:somesite.com

BeeDeeDubbleU




msg:3362287
 4:18 pm on Jun 8, 2007 (gmt 0)

If we are to follow Google's instructions then site:somesite.com is the correct syntax. Here's what G says ...

Google supports several advanced operators, which are query words that have special meaning to Google. Typically these operators modify the search in some way, or even tell Google to do a totally different type of search. For instance, "link:" is a special operator, and the query [link:www.google.com] doesn't do a normal search but instead finds all web pages that have links to www.google.com.

nzmatt




msg:3362338
 5:27 pm on Jun 8, 2007 (gmt 0)

...but instead finds all web pages that have links to www.google.com

hardly...

McMohan




msg:3362381
 6:01 pm on Jun 8, 2007 (gmt 0)

I think we are trying to read some mystery where there isn't one. I am surprised this thread has made the WebmasterWorld homepage.
As correctly pointed out by other members, "SITE:" isn't taken as an operator as in "site:" It just searches for "site" and the "domain name" mentioned together in the same order. If you put a space between SITE: and domain name, then it returns sites that have "SITE" and "domain name" mentioned anywhere on the webpage.

Robert Charlton




msg:3362401
 6:27 pm on Jun 8, 2007 (gmt 0)

I think we are trying to read some mystery where there isn't one.

McMohan - I agree. I think the big news was that the site: and link: operators are case sensitive.

Clark




msg:3362520
 9:31 pm on Jun 8, 2007 (gmt 0)

Exactly. Especially since they've said uppercase and lowercase are the same in searches so we've gotten used to that. They should really stick to it in this case too.

McMohan




msg:3362653
 4:50 am on Jun 9, 2007 (gmt 0)

Robert, I have always seen the operators being case sensitive. Only the search terms are not.

Like a search for "KW1 OR KW2" which searches for either of the keywords and thus OR is an operator, whereas "KW1 or KW2" takes "or" as a search word, not an operator.
I think it is pretty logical on Google's part, since it needs to be told when you intend to use a word as an operator and when not. I would have been surprised had the operators not been case sensitive.

[edited by: McMohan at 4:57 am (utc) on June 9, 2007]

Robert Charlton




msg:3362657
 5:00 am on Jun 9, 2007 (gmt 0)

....I would have been surprised had the operators not been case sensitive.

McMohan - Yes, this makes sense. I'd frankly never considered it for the site: and link: operators, as I've never left my caps lock key on when I've searched with them.

Following your example of the "OR" operator through to its logical extreme, though, it would seem more logical for site: and link: to be operators only when capitalized. Instead, it's the opposite (which does make more sense in terms of usability).

yodokame




msg:3362841
 2:18 pm on Jun 9, 2007 (gmt 0)

There's no mystery here.

The operator has to be lowercase, with no spaces around the colon:

site:domain.com

If there is a space after the colon, Google strips the colon and just searches for the word "site" and the domain as text.

If SITE is in all caps, Google considers it a regular word, strips the colon searches for "site" and the domain as text.

Marcia




msg:3363867
 11:40 pm on Jun 10, 2007 (gmt 0)

There's a big fundamental difference between using upper and lower case.

--Lower case indicates using a special operator for Google search, and
--Upper case indicates the query mode.

SITE: isn't valid as a search operator using all caps, and also
SITE: isn't valid as a query mode, so it's being interpreted as just a regular term, using FINDALL which is the default search.

Query mode and special operators are different things. Query modes:

--FINDALL = AND = retrieve documents that contain both term1 and term2, regardless of order or proximity
-- OR = retrieve documents that contain either term1 or term2
--quotes = EXACT match, retrieve documents that contain both term1 and term2 in that exact order.

Nothing astounding or mysterious or new about it, the two are just sending a different message to the engine on which documents to retrieve for the query, which is normal. It's just how it works, no tricks by Google to confound SEOs. Not this time, anyway. ;-)

[edited by: Marcia at 12:14 am (utc) on June 11, 2007]

Bewenched




msg:3364496
 4:54 pm on Jun 11, 2007 (gmt 0)

Ok .. so what some of you guys are saying is that if you use the operator in upper case then it strips out the colon and uses it as if you searched for

site www.example.com

HOWEVER this does not appear to totally be the case.

what i'm finding is that

SITE:www.example.com is finding pages that have the domain name in the text but not actual links

site www.example.com or SITE www.example.com is finding sites that are linking to our domain name and the first couple are a couple of pages including our home page within our own domain.

interesting.

[edited by: Bewenched at 4:55 pm (utc) on June 11, 2007]

ashii




msg:3364844
 11:01 pm on Jun 11, 2007 (gmt 0)

To find if a operator is valid or NOT.

First use that operator to search and then click on "Advanced Search"
If Google recognize it ,then its a valid operator.

Marcia




msg:3364862
 11:50 pm on Jun 11, 2007 (gmt 0)

Searching for site:google.com lower case brings up over 43 million pages.

Using SITE: upper case isn't a valid operator and isn't recognized as one. It's being treated as though it were just another search term, part of a phrase. You can see it with the bolding in the snippets.

SITE:google.com [google.com]

Good point about using advanced search to check, using SITE: with upper case it's giving the option of searching for the exact phrase

SITE google com [google.com]

Which would be exact match which is a search mode, not a search operator in the same sense that site: or inurl: are; it's the equivalent of using quotes for the search term, independent of any particular domain.

Clicking on advanced search after doing a search for site:google.com brings up options for the domain, which is what the site: operator is meant to do.

site:google.com [google.com]

This is what makes it very confusing, IMHO:

Google searches are NOT case sensitive. All letters, regardless of how you type them, will be understood as lower case. For example, searches for george washington, George Washington, and gEoRgE wAsHiNgToN will all return the same results.

Here's another point of confusion. Apparently there's a bit of a difference between using the operators for query mode if they're lower or upper case.

Search for one AND two [google.com]

Search for one and two [google.com] brings up the Google calculator for one plus two = 3.

[edited by: Marcia at 12:11 am (utc) on June 12, 2007]

Robert Charlton




msg:3365080
 6:15 am on Jun 12, 2007 (gmt 0)

Slightly afield with regard to the capitalization question... but looking at the colon character...

my emphasis...
If there is a space after the colon, Google strips the colon and just searches for the word "site" and the domain as text.

If SITE is in all caps, Google considers it a regular word, strips the colon searches for "site" and the domain as text.

I'm not sure how much we should trust snippet highlighting here, but, in the first example, with the space, on numerous searches, I see no highlighting of the colon....

site: www.webmasterworld.com [google.com]

The colon, though, is reflected by %3A in the query string...

&q=site%3A+www.webmasterworld.com

In the second example, with SITE in caps and no space after...

SITE:www.webmasterworld.com [google.com]

...pages containing the exact string site:www.webmasterworld.com are being returned, and I see a lot of bolded colons in the snippets. I don't think that the colon is being stripped at all here. But it's not exactly just a stand-alone colon... it's a colon included in a text string with no spaces.

Notice again the %3A in the query string (but with no spaces to separate it from SITE or from www)....

&q=SITE%3Awww.webmasterworld.com

Perhaps related... a couple of months back I noticed that Google was apparently paying attention to the hyphen character, which I'd previously considered simply a delimiter (along with the colon), and it may be that Google is similarly including the colon in some searches.

Google search and the dash "-" character
What effect does a hyphen have on Google caching and search
[webmasterworld.com...]

Google sees them both as delimiters. I think I remember that Google once upon a time did not differentiate between hyphens, slashes, commas, semi-colons, and colons... but I just did a quick test search between two-words hyphenated and two words just spaced, and I am seeing a difference now, which surprises me. Haven't tested that in a while.

[edited by: Robert_Charlton at 6:16 am (utc) on June 12, 2007]

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